At MSU: After emerging as the Bears' defensive leader a year ago, more of the same is expected from Derrick Byrd in 2006. He led the team in tackles last season with 87 total stops, including 40 solos, in his first year at linebacker after making the switch from the secondary, where he played in all 11 MSU games in the 2004 campaign. He also had four pass breakups last season, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Byrd was named the team's defensive MVP and the top junior player last season. He led the Bears in tackles four times in 2005, including a career-high 14 against Youngstown State, 12 vs. Southern Illinois, 11 vs. Arkansas and seven vs. UNI. He also notched nine tackles each against Southeast Missouri State, Western Kentucky and Indiana State. He collected 15 total tackles from his strong safety position as a sophomore, six solos and nine assists. Byrd sat out the 2003 season after transferring to MSU from the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas.Background: Prior to attending St. Mary, he was a standout in track, in addition to football, at St. Augustine High in Louisiana.
Personal:Derrick Chico Byrd was born June 27, 1984, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Chico and Joyce Byrd. He is majoring in logistics and transportation.